In light of August being Women’s Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to promote some hard working mums. You could find the service provider you were looking for or be inspired to take that leap you’ve been dreaming of.
Q&A WITH MAZ
1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know 😂)
Oh wow! That is tough… and a little sad that I find it difficult to do! I grew up in a really small town called Upington, situated in the Northern Cape – a.k.a Green Kalahari. I am a total farm girl at heart, but loved moving to Cape Town on my own when I was 18. That move made me independent and taught me some incredible life skills. It made me strong… I would like to think of myself as a strong woman with a few cracks in my armour. I am someone who easily gets bored, but I am also someone who can lie on the couch for hours watching trashy TV. My absolute vice is reading – nothing calms me like the escape a good book offers me. I choose to live life as simply as possible, to embrace positivity instead of negativity – and I actively choose to be happy.
2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
Right now I have two – my perfect pigeon pair. Mikayla is 7, and Knox is 3-years old.
3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?
My side hustle became my saving grace – allowing me to work for myself and ultimately resulting in me co-founding a successful company allowing me to do what I love. I started my lifestyle and parenting blog, Caffeine and Fairydust, in September 2014 (4-years ago), and at the beginning of this year I was able to quit my full-time job as a senior fashion designer and focus on my blog full-time. One thing led to the other and I teamed up with an incredibly talented and experienced friend of mine and started Driven Social – a one-stop shop for all your digital marketing and branding needs. We like to focus on small business and to offer packages they could afford – it is not where the money is at, but it is definitely where our hearts are. There are few things as rewarding as watching a small business grow and knowing you had a small part to play in that. We do everything from website development, social media management, influencer campaigns, monthly mailers, paid social media advertising, branding – you name it.
4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?
I worked as a senior fashion designer for some of the top design studios and retailers in the country – and I was really good at it, if I may say so myself. For 10 years I worked in an industry that despite trying, could not align themselves with the needs of a family. An industry that runs on toxicity and materialism. An industry that caused my mental health to spiral… it was killing me and I just could not do it anymore.
5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?
I really struggle with this – it is not easy and I am only just finding my balance. Having a business partner and outsourcing work that takes up too much of your time really helps. I try to only work while the kids are at school. As soon as they get home, I try and focus on them and to get all the household tasks done and out of the way. In the evenings we spend time together as a family, and everything that did not get done during “working hours” gets done while everyone else is sleeping. I get very little sleep.
6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?
The stress of not knowing where your next pay check is coming from! It is nerve-wrecking, but somehow it is always okay. Also, the lack of support from people you thought cared about you can be a real eye-opener. I find it hard to market myself as I am constantly marketing others… but it is worth all the hardships. The worst of all is figuring your tax out – get a good accountant!
7. What have been the highlights?
The friendships and relationships I have built along the way, the clients who build me up and continuously refer me to others. Watching the business grow… and for once, being able to truly be there for my family. To focus on being a mom and to not always have to be in a mad rush. I get to be here with them, every single day.
It is also really exciting, you are constantly learning and growing through mistakes as well as triumphs – there is never a dull moment.
8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
Just do it. The timing will never be right, but if you don’t start believing in yourself – no one else will!
9. How can we get in touch with you?
We are active on Instagram -> @caffeineandfairydust
Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/caffeineandfairydust/
You can also find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/drivensocialSA/
Click here for the feature on Karienne Strijdom – Thrift store owner and Baby class instructor.
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